Social Media is Not a Lie: The Essena O’Neill Paradox

In Literary, Opinions, and Reviews

Few weeks ago, the internet was taken over by a storm in the form of Essena O’Neill. The certain Instagram celebrity has decided to quit after revealing the ugly truths behind social media. In my opinion, these so-called ugly truths are realities we already know about. Nothing new.

The digital age has imposed an unattainable set of standards for teens that’s measured mainly on looks and popularity. That being said, it’s not uncommon for today’s youth to get sucked into achieving the idea of perfection. Consequently, these internet celebrities (the epitome of ‘making it’ in life) are taken advantage by companies via ad agencies. Social media is the new and best platform by far for product advertising and marketing. Best of all, it’s free. It plays a vital role in widening the reach of a brand’s target niche so it’s no big deal that these online celebs are getting paid for endorsements. In fact, they are quite lucky because they get paid for it whereas not-so-famous bloggers are doing it x-deal style.

The lie Essena is talking about isn’t social media but how she used the medium. Her years of cyber success was all a pretense. If she feels that her life was consumed wrongly by the internet, then why blame it? Isn’t that what our online accounts represent? A hyperbole of what it really is. And with regards to sponsorships, okay so she got paid for that dress, bikini, or that tea but so what? I don’t think her followers are oblivious to that. The irony is that:

  1. She finally decided to come clean and quit social media for good,
  2. Then goes to social media to tell everyone “she’s quitting social media”,
  3. Deletes Instagram, Snapchat, and sets Youtube on idle but only to find out she’s using Vimeo to upload her preaching videos. (Whuuuut???)  🙄 
  4. It doesn’t look a revolutionary, game-changing act for me but simply a trying out a different marketing strategy. Heck, I bet a lot of you didn’t even know her until she went viral with ‘quitting’ and revealing the truth thing. Now she’s asking for support on her (rather conveniently set up) blog along with a vast assortment of merch and stuff for you to feast on. See what I mean? Clever girl!

The truth? This is the way social media works. Always have been. Anyway, that’s just my 2 cents on this issue though!

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